ACA could be used as political tool in fall campaigns

Published On: Apr 01 2014 09:39:55 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 01 2014 11:46:29 PM EDT

While President Obama calls the Affordable Care Act a success, Republicans call the program a failure and use it to ratchet up their fall campaigns.
Channel 4's Scott Johnson has been looking at how it could be used politically---particularly if the GOP has a big victory in the congressional midterms.

WASHINGTON -

The federal government announced Tuesday that more than 7 million people signed up for the Affordable Care Act. President Barack Obama said the act has been a success, but Republicans still plan to use ACA as a political tool in their fall campaigns. 

“Because of this law, millions of our fellow citizens know the economic security of health insurance who didn’t just a few years ago and that’s something to be proud of,” said President Barack Obama.

The ongoing debate over the Affordable Care Act is likely going to go into the November elections as a political hot-potato. Republicans are calling the act a failure, and the President, citing facts like 7 million people signing up, is calling it a victory.

Republicans could change the act in the future if they have a successful political year. Depending how many seats the Republicans pick up in the senate, they could either defund parts of the law or try to throw it out entirely.

A University of North Florida political science professor told Channel 4 Tuesday that defunding or throwing out the law is easier said than done. Matthew Corrigan said Republicans would need to get 60 seats in the Senate to overturn the law.

“You really need 60 votes to overturn it, and the Republicans, they may take back the Senate, but they’re not going to get to 60,” said Corrigan.

Corrigan said that even if Republicans got to the point of having a filibuster-proof Senate, it would be extremely difficult to end the Affordable Care Act. 

“What can happen if Republicans do well is they can move to defund parts of the ACA," Corrigan said. "At that point, assuming it’s working, you’re taking insurance away from people and if you’re going to do that you have to replace it with something."

Corrigan said he expects Republicans in Washington will likely try to defund parts of the law, but to make that palatable to Americans, the GOP legislature would have to offer an alternative.

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